It is estimated that 27.2% of high school students use illicit drugs on a regular basis.
This is a very disturbing statistic considering the fact that the teenage years are formative in the development of a person’s career, personality and overall success. Adolescence is a very confusing time involving raging hormones, pressure to fit in at school and academic stress. Teenagers abuse and become addicted to drugs and alcohol for many reasons, and it is essential to understand them in order to treat patients successfully in a rehab.
Addictions may start young. Many teenagers experiment with drugs and alcohol but don’t get addicted to them. While peer pressure may drive an adolescent to consume drugs or alcohol at parties or other events, other factors are responsible for the mental state of addiction. Trying drugs or alcohol at a party can, however, trigger the path towards addiction.
For example, if a teenager has a genetic predisposition to alcoholism and is going through problems because of stress at school, she is likely to crave the relaxing effect of alcohol after she drinks for the first time. With repeated use of alcohol, she will need more of it to feel the same calming effect. This will eventually take her down the path of addiction until she is admitted into a rehabilitation center, and undergoes detox and other therapies.
Many teenagers abuse prescription drugs. A popular example of this is stimulant drugs used to treat ADHD (attention deficit hyperactive disorder). These drugs are known to increase focus, thereby enhancing academic performance. This unfortunate phenomenon is aided by the accessibility of such drugs – it is very common for patients of ADHD to sell their prescription medications to other students in their schools.
Many rehabilitation centers also report that teenage addicts are aided in their addiction because of the widespread availability of drugs in the form of school supplies – many students sniff glue or whitener.
Teenagers are more susceptible to mental illness than any other age category. If a teenager already suffers from a condition like depression or anxiety, a tryst with drugs or alcohol at a party could cause to lead them down the path of addiction.
Teenage brains are very different from adult brains from a biological perspective as well, which makes it more likely for them to abuse drugs or alcohol.
There are many stressors related to school and peers, which make teenagers turn to drugs and thereby mentally escape from it all. For instance, bullying is very common among teenagers and causes tremendous stress. Disappointingly though, the main cause of a drug addiction in teenagers is ignorance. They believe that marijuana is not addictive, similarly, they do not know the effect of alcohol on the body. Teenagers have a lot to learn, and proper education is essential to reduce the rate of teenage drug and alcohol addiction.